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Hong Kong Exchanges extends market closing times

Hong KongExchanges & Clearing Ltd. will extend the closing times in itssecurities and derivatives markets as part of the first phase to daily closing auctions.

The bourse operator said July 20 that the new closing timesare effective from July 25, when the closing auction sessions are introduced.

For normal trading days, the securities market will randomlyclose between 4:08 p.m. and 4:10 p.m. Hong Kong time, while the derivativesmarket will close at 4:30 p.m. Currently, the securities and derivativesmarkets close at 4 p.m. and 4:15 p.m., respectively, on normal trading days.

For half-day trading, the securities market will randomlyclose between 12:08 p.m. and 12:10 p.m., while the derivatives market willclose at 12:30 p.m. Currently, the securities and derivatives markets bothclose at 12 p.m. for half-day trading.

In addition, the opening time of Hong Kong Exchanges'after-hours futures trading will be extended to 5:15 p.m. from 5 p.m., alsoeffective July 25.

Hong Kong Exchanges eliminated its previous closing auctionmechanism after shares of HSBCHoldings Plc fell around 10% in the last seconds of trading onMarch 9, 2009. The closing auction will limit price moves and allow the marketto randomly close in the last two minutes to deter gaming and pricemanipulation.